Christians Have Differing Views of Halloween
In the US, Halloween is in just a few days, and in the Church we have differing views of how to handle this holiday. Some refuse to acknowledge it, some condemn it, some create a harvest festival removing the scary elements, and others will embrace the holiday completely. With so much variety on this topic, it is difficult to know how to navigate.
Like everyone else, I also have my personal preferences when it comes to Halloween. I find it odd that some churches fully embrace zombies and horror movie villains while trying to lead people to a decision to embrace God’s love. I’m not saying this is completely wrong to do; it is just something I have a hard time embracing.
At the same time, kids love Halloween. They get to play dress up and get their fill of sugary treats. To completely ignore this holiday can create a wedge between our kids and the church. Jesus’ first miracle was at a party giving wine to drunk people (John 2:9-10). He doesn’t seem to have a problem about what religious people might think.
5 Principles to Guide Christians’ Thoughts on Halloween
So how are we to approach this holiday? Should Christians embrace Halloween or completely turn away from it? While I personally don’t think there is a definitive answer for every person, I do think there are some principles that will help lead our decisions.
1. God Has Not Given Us a Spirit of Fear
We can apply this to not wanting to scare others, but the main thing I want to bring out with 2 Timothy 1:7 is how we approach Halloween. Sometimes we get so afraid of the demonic involvement in Halloween that we want nothing to do with it. It appears we trust more in what the enemy can do than we are of what God can do.
2. Jesus Has Overcome the World
We are told that we will experience many troubles. I don’t think we need to create fights with the world, but we should be surprised when they come. However, Jesus has overcome the world. There is no fight. We can actively love those in the world secure in our position in Christ.
3. We Are To Be In the World But Not Of It
Jesus’ prayer for us was that we were not to be taken out of this world (John 17:14-16). In fact, Jesus sent us into the world just as He was sent into the world (John 17:18). We are to reconcile men and women back to God. We are not to be so distant from the world that they cannot see us. There must be a way to enter into this Halloween season to bring light.
4. Can Life and Death Flow From the Same Spring?
If we create a house of horror, can we then lead people to the lover of our souls? If we remove ourselves from the traditions of our world, will our light still be able to shine before men? If we are to save drowning people, we need to find a way into the ocean without drowning ourselves.
I don’t feel that there are easy answers here. I believe we are to wrestle with how we are to live for Christ in this world. Jesus turned the religious world of His time on its head because He didn’t live easy answers. However, He was connected to the Father and the world took notice.
5. He Will Convict the World of Sin
One role of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of sin (John 16:3). He knows how to do it well. If we are constantly telling people where they are wrong and heading to hell, they will never hear the greater truth that God loves them. They are supposed to see God’s love through our love for them.
Jesus was able to love prostitutes and tax collectors so when that the religious folks thought He was one of them. However, those ‘sinners’ never thought He was condoning their actions and were led to repent of their ways (Luke 19:1-10). If we love well, the Holy Spirit will make room for conviction.
How to Pray for Halloween
Whatever your views of Halloween or whatever other worldly tradition may be in your country, we should at least enter into prayer. Even though the world may be walking away from God, we can still have hope. Nothing is impossible with God, He loves those in the world very much, and our prayers are powerful. Here are 6 things to pray for this Halloween:
- May people’s awareness of other spiritual realities lead them to the angelic involvement and lead them to the Holy Spirit.
- May seeing their loved ones in full fear not be funny, but instead, cause people to turn toward always being a source of light, life, and love.
- May the joy of children receiving something they want (candy) embolden adults to replicate healthy joy for children throughout the year.
- May God not hold their sin against them. The wages of sin may be death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. May they turn quickly to Jesus and never no the consequences to their sin.
- If consequences do come, may they find help and hope through Jesus. He has given them a way out. Life is in Him with abundance.
- O God, how can I surprise people with the love of Jesus and give them blessings from You?